|Honeyfeet — Orange Whip (30 March 2018)|
Honeyfeet — Orange Whip (30 March 2018)°::° ... Ríoghnach turns in another incredible vocal on the album’s final track — future single Meet Me On The Corner. With a pounding beat, it is one of the album’s main highlights. Guitar and brass propels Ríoghnach to sing lyrics that could be straight out of the playground, but suggest something deeper, possibly mystical even, in it’s demands for a dalliance on the street. It closes the album on a high note, for a band who have that rare ability to distil all their disparate influences, while always sounding like their unique selves. ...
°::° “Rioghnach’s voice is amazing. Sinner single was great, the album is successful!” — Veronique, Radio Krim (Paris, France)
Location: Manchester, UK
Album release: 30 March 2018
Record Label: Wah Wah 45s
1. Sinner 4:57
2. Quickball 3:07
3. Woe 5:15
4. Whatever You Do 4:44
5. Demons 3:09
6. Colonel Hathi’s Trunk Juice 3:06
7. Love in Vain 4:03
8. Hunt and Gather 5:41
9. Meet Me on the Corner 4:18
°::° Rik Warren (vocals/harmonica),
°::° Gus Fairbairn (tenor sax),
°::° Biff Roxby (trombone/vocals),
°::° Ellis Davies (guitar),
°::° Lorien Edwards (bass guitar),
°::° John Ellis (keyboards) and
°::° David Schlechtriemen (drums)
Orange Whip Unleashed
••• Honeyfeet’s new album Orange Whip has been released for the whole world to hear on March 30th, and named BBC 6 Music’s ‘Album of The Day’ on the 3rd of April. The outfit, who have received praise from the likes of The Guardian, will have a track from the album played on each daytime show, by Shaun Keaveny, Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe and Maconie, and Steve Lamacq.
••• For the last couple of years the Honeyfeet have been a conduit for the ideas and expressions of an exotic mixture of Manchester based musicians. This genre~defying band incorporate styles including jazz, folk and hip hop into their music. Someone once called it Folk~Hop and Barrelhouse~pop, and that’s just vague enough to make sense.
Diversity is Key
••• Opening with recent single Sinner (which received radio play from the likes of 6 Music and BBC Manchester), which showcases Ríoghnach’s extraordinary agile and emotive voice, the album moves with dizzying swagger on songs covering a wide range of subjects. Quickball tells the story of being so infatuated with someone you want to eat them, while Whatever You Do addresses the fear~mongering of the press over folk~hop and oom~pah, and Demons deals with love and redemption on a blast of harmonica~driven country, sung by Rik Warren.
••• Rik also takes lead vocal on a re~working of Robert Johnson’s Love in Vain, a song showing Honeyfeet’s more reflective side, his Skip James~esque drawl bringing an eerie quality to the lyrics about a doomed relationship. The band reshape the progression too, swinging the tune slowly and creating a little underground blues club in the midst of the recording.
••• Elsewhere the band go all New Orleanian on Colonel Hathi’s Trunk Juice, a sinister tale inspired by trombonist Biff Roxby’s horn riff recalling one of the elephants of The Jungle Book. Further showcasing their virtuosity, on one of the album’s best moments — especially the nuanced vocal performance by Ríoghnach, who was raised on Irish folk – on Hunt and Gather the band do their own take on prog~folk, with a flute and cello melody running alongside a brass counterpoint.
••• Ríoghnach turns in another incredible vocal on the album’s final track — future single Meet Me On The Corner. With a pounding beat, it is one of the album’s main highlights. Guitar and brass propels Ríoghnach to sing lyrics that could be straight out of the playground, but suggest something deeper, possibly mystical even, in it’s demands for a dalliance on the street. It closes the album on a high note, for a band who have that rare ability to distil all their disparate influences, while always sounding like their unique selves.
••• Orange Whip heralds the sound of a remarkable band going overground.
••• “That’s really good… absolutely super” — Shaun Keaveny, BBC Radio 6Music
••• “Reminds me of the first time I heard Amy Winehouse with the Dap Kings” — Chris Hawkins, BBC Radio 6Music
••• “Such a great album, one of my faves of the year so far!” — Bern Leckie, Chill Radio
••• “I love this band. I loved DJing for them at Rich Mix on NYE. I love this album.“ — Jamie Renton, fRoots / Chilli Fried / Shout Collective (United Kingdom)
••• “What another great signing for Wah Wah 45s, ‘Honeyfeet’ are an exceptional multi~talented outfit, big fan of Rioghnach’s voice, I can certainly hear that folk/celtic influence, looking forward to sharing this album on the show!!” — Alan, Multi Storey Soul Radio Show, RTE Pulse (Dublin, Ireland)
••• “Super production on all cuts and it’s the deeper ‘n’ bluesy tracks that make me smile. Quality all the way!” — Bob Jones, Mi~Soul Radio (United Kingdom)
••• “Sinner is already on HOT rotation!” — Ted, Radio Active FM (Greece)
••• “Quality! Looking forward to to working with this.” — Jim Wood, 8Track Music
••• “Great mix of old style blues, jazz & soul, perfect for music playlisting purposes.” — Oli, C~Burn Office (United Kingdom)
••• “All lovely Grooves…Thank You!” — Barry Burns, Deben Radio CIC, Laid Back Radio (Brussels, Belgium)
••• “Beautiful!” — Julien Donaz, Radio RTU Le Grand Mix (France)
••• “Nice tracks, thanks!!!” — Timos, Reverb Nation (Greece)
••• “Nice!” — Hector Pizarro, Vallee FM (France)
••• “Great album! Bravo” — Clèment, Plum FM (France)
••• “Good stuff. Will support!” — Weird Pigs / Compost Records
••• “Sounds good. Cinematic. Looking forward to hearing the whole thing.” — Phil Gray, KPSU Radio (Portland, USA)
••• “Some great stuff on this LP. Fonkee!” — Alex Attias, Radio Couleur 3 (Switzerland)
••• “Rioghnach’s voice is amazing. Sinner single was great, the album is successful!” — Veronique, Radio Krim (Paris, France)
••• “Not really my bag, but do love ‘Hunt and Gather’!” — Pete, Jelly Jazz + Phonic FM (Devon, UK)
••• “Great LP. Playlisted on my next show.” — Olivier Cavaller, De La Bonne Musique, Rinse FM (France)
••• “Nice LP!” — Jason Deckstatic, No.8, XL, Space Ibiza NYC, 1 Oak Southampton (London, United Kingdom)
HONEYFEET: ORANGE WHIP
by Dave McNally 3 May, 2018
••• Manchester, you will know, doesn’t officially have a Queen but the recent home launch gig for Honeyfeet’s new album Orange Whip felt like a coronation for the band’s irrepressible, inimitable front~woman: flute player and singer extraordinaire Ríoghnach Connolly (Afro Celt Sound System, The Breath, Band of Burns). Completing Honeyfeet’s line~up for the album are Rik Warren (vocals/harmonica), Gus Fairbairn (tenor sax), Biff Roxby (trombone/vocals), Ellis Davies (guitar), Lorien Edwards (bass guitar), John Ellis (keyboards) and David Schlechtriemen (drums). They have been together for 8 years playing their unique blend of musical styles and 40 minutes of your time with Orange Whip will have you fully appreciating why Benjamin Zephaniah said: “I’m in love with Honeyfeet”.
••• Things really take~off right from the opener Sinner, which was the first single from the album, immediately offering up the essence of Honeyfeet’s absorbing sound. It’s big and brassy, has tons more genuine swagger than just about any allegedly ‘top’ rock and roll band and, to crown it all, Ríoghnach’s marvellously versatile and poignant vocals.
••• Quickball — ‘I’m gonna chop you into cubes, put you in my freezer. Defrost you and put you in the stew’ — is a cheerful and punchy number written by Ríoghnach about that odd form of enchantment, cannibalism. The song, and in many ways Honeyfeet’s whole ethos, bear a striking resemblance to the work of Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias, another musically consummate, versatile and comedic, if criminally largely forgotten, Manchester band from the 1970s. Just like the Albertos, one of Honeyfeet’s many strengths is not taking themselves at all seriously.
••• The scare~mongering of the press is the target for the jaunty, oom~pah driven Whatever You Do, the second single from the album. It’s onto firmly New Orleans brass band territory on Colonel Hathi’s Trunk Juice and whilst there is an obvious marching connection with Colonel Hathi’s March from the film of The Jungle Book, the ominous lyrics are far removed from the innocence of the dawn patrol.
••• By the time the album gets to the band’s take on Robert Johnson’s Love in Vain and the following track Hunt and Gather, we need the change to catch our breath after the mostly pacy, edgy preceding songs. Love in Vain is slower, more contemplative than Johnson’s original, with a very effective drawling vocal from Rik Warren and gospel~like hummed background. Hunt and Gather is the most folky, psych~ish, sounding song on Orange Whip. Meandering and moody, it features Hannah Miller (Moulettes) guesting on cello, lovely, restrained singing from Ríoghnach and a floating brass and flute refrain.
••• Rest over, the album’s finale Meet Me On The Corner (definitely not the Lindisfarne song) is appropriately raucous, with a pulsating rhythm and decidedly rock~like guitar. Ríoghnach’s powerful vocal more than matches the band’s forceful performance, singing a superficially innocent sounding song but the overriding sense is of urgency and maybe even lurking menace. This was also the feverish finale at the launch gig, with the sell~out crowd dancing wildly and then trying very hard for an encore, which the curfew wouldn’t allow, albeit our Queen stayed on stage regardless, sharing her every thought for a good while.
••• It may seem strange to write about a song that isn’t even on the album, but Honeyfeet did an amazing, storming version of Iron & Wine’s Freedom Hangs Like Heaven at the launch gig, introduced, in the nights overt political moment, by Ríoghnach with reference to the campaign to change the ‘archaic’ absence of abortion rights in the North of Ireland. You can watch a video of them playing the song in the playlist below and my lobbying for this to be on their next album starts here.
••• Honeyfeet are the epitome of eclectic, a genre~defying but utterly irresistible confluence of their disparate influences. There is blues, jazz, folk and soul in there somewhere, and allegedly hip hop but that passed these ears by — the band themselves seem happy with ‘Folk~Hop and Barrelhouse~pop’, so who are we to argue. ••• Comparison is probably ineffectual but, having already drawn parallels with the Albertos, another that springs to mind is with the great New Orleans band Galactic.
••• With Orange Whip you really don’t know what’s coming next but every surprise is a real delight, and musically the album is tight, with no wasted notes. As a local — Orange Whip was recorded in a studio half a mile from my front~door (I didn’t know it was there until I read the sleeve notes!) and Ríoghnach until not long ago taught a flute class my daughter goes to — I make no pretence to objectivity. So don’t take my word for it, go and listen to this album for a real treat, which dispenses fun all the way and is just like having a homemade jukebox of many of your favourite kinds of music all in one convenient handy sized album. ••• http://www.folkradio.co.uk/
|Honeyfeet — Orange Whip (30 March 2018)|